“…that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
Now we come to the burden of Paul’s prayer (v.5).
that the sharing of your faith may become effective
Paul prayed that Philemon would not only share his faith but that the sharing of his faith would be effective. Paul wants Philemon to be effective in his witness for Christ. That is the essential burden of Paul’s prayer for Philemon. Paul prayed in effect, “I am praying that God will enable you to share your faith effectively.”
The word “sharing” means fellowship. The sharing here has to do with the whole range of our faith. By fellowship with other believers, Philemon communicates his faith so that they become edified in the faith. By sharing the gospel, he advances the cause of Christ.
The word “effective” conveys energetic power, operating power. Philemon had an effective and powerful faith.
1 Co 16:9, “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
He 4:12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Witnessing is, at heart, a sharing of the genuineness of Christ with others.
The gospel has become a dead-end street to many of us. The gospel stopped when it came to us. Others shared it with us, but we could care less about passing it on. We have not touched anyone else with the gospel. We have a communication problem.
Mark 1:17, “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’”
When people embrace our faith, they embrace the genuineness of our trust in Christ. They embrace our Lord. Do you have an interest in advancing the person of Christ and the gospel? We put forth feeble attempts to present a worthy picture of Christ. May God put a burden on our hearts for the lost.
Mt 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
1 Th 1:6-8, “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.”